Best of Boston Home 2008

Our top picks for architects, designers, furniture stores, kitchen suppliers, and more.


best of boston home 2008

A mural by Arteriors. (Photo Provided)

 Faux Finishes & Murals

Murals dance a thin line between clever and cornball. The work of Natick-based Arteriors, however, always errs on the side of good taste. Husband-and-wife team Amiel and Stephanie Mesner can paint detailed exotic landscapes (think Provençal scenes), kid-approved backdrops, and intricate still lifes that look like modern-day Michelangelos. Their faux-finishing repertoire includes Venetian plaster and graphic paint layers.

45 Lakeview Ave., Natick, 508-655-1942,


A great framing job can elevate decent artwork to masterpiece status, so seek out the folks at this Cantabrigian standout. They’ll work tirelessly to find that perfect frame, mat, and molding, and then assemble them with care, adding “pop” to your recently acquired Matisse. Plus, the Cambridge Framery promises your art will last, thanks to museum-quality techniques that protect your investment from environmental elements.

110 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-864-4487,

Gallery, Contemporary

Bernard Toale, a longtime fixture on the Boston art scene, moved his gallery from Newbury Street to SoWa (south of Washington) in 1998—just before that section of the South End got hip (and monikered). Most artists are well-established, internationally known painters, photographers, and sculptors, but he does offer up an occasional nascent genius as well.

450 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-482-2477

best of boston home 2008

Paintings by José Goncalves at the Judi Rotenberg Gallery. (Photo Provided)

Gallery, General Excellence

One of the oldest independent galleries in Boston, this Newbury institution continues to operate under its 1971 credo that experimental, bold, and colorful are worth the investment. Mediums range from video to installation-based works, abstract assemblages, and local scenes painted by Rotenberg herself.

130 Newbury St., Boston, 617-437-1518,

Gallery, North

Herald your liberal agenda with socially and culturally provocative art from this converted-garage gallery in Malden, founded seven years ago by art-biz extraordinaire Sand T. This “unincorporated private entity,” formerly called
ArtSpace@16, is actively trying to build an arts community in Malden for displaced creative types (like those from Fort Point Channel) by linking them with gallery owners and private collectors.

16 Princeton Rd., Malden, 781-321-8058,

Gallery, South

Going to the Sparrow House is a full-day experience: For just $2 ($1 for children), visitors can tour surveyor Richard Sparrow’s original 1636 house and breathe in its Colonial scents, then enjoy a well-curated array of contemporary American crafts like glass vases and silver necklaces. Several times each year, the gallery also hosts an art show featuring top East Coast artists who work in traditional mediums like photography and oils. Take home an original work from the museum shop, which offers hand-crafted wooden spoons, jewelry, and ceramics.

42 Summer St., Plymouth, 508-747-1240,

Gallery, Traditional

If you love Monet, if your kitchen calendar is Renoir, or if you drool over Cézanne, then bring your checkbook. Highly reputable, with galleries in New Orleans, New York, and San Francisco, Axelle deals primarily in contemporary French paintings inspired by the impressionist movement. Works by Jacques Gatti and Philippe Vasseur are charmingly anachronistic in their soft-focus beauty and traditional subject matter.

91 Newbury St., Boston, 617-450-0700,

Gallery, West

There was a time when Picasso paintings could be bought for the price of a sandwich. Those days may be long over, but if you think there is talent out there yet to be discovered, then test your hunch by gambling at this nonprofit cooperative gallery. It’s here that you’ll find work by graphic newbies trying to become the next art-world superstars. The best part is that you don’t have to break the bank to play. Spend a little or a lot—the intimate main gallery and its two satellite locations will sell you works ranging in price from $3 to $3,000.

8 W. Main St., Westborough, 508-870-0110,

The Boston Home team has curated a list of the best home design and home remodeling professionals in Boston, including home builders and contractors, interior designers, home accent décor, and more. Get the help you need with FindIt/Boston's guide to home renovation pros.

The Boston Home team has curated a list of the best home design and home remodeling professionals in Boston, including architects, builders, kitchen and bath experts, lighting designers, and more. Get the help you need with FindIt/Boston's guide to home renovation pros.